A Sydney metal fabricator is behind a big-budget Aussie assault on the World Time Attack Challenge.
Ben Creswick has built this highly-modified carbon-fibre bodied Subaru WRX, featuring a fully sequential transmission and 2.5-litre turbo-charged flat-four ‘boxer’ engine.
The Hankook Carbon WRX, piloted by a high-profile professional driver, will target the current WTAC lap record, set by driver Tarzan Yamada and Japanese team CyberEvo to win the 2010 event.
Mr Creswick says the car has been in development for five years – starting as a heavily modified street car before undergoing a transformation into a full-blown time attack racer.
“We’ve modified the chassis to get the centre of gravity really low – it’s six inches lower than a standard WRX and much wider,” said Mr. Creswick.
“The big guards and wider track also allow us to run bigger tyres than usual – 295/30ZR18 sized Hankook Ventus TD semi-slicks on both the front and rear of the car.”
Mr Creswick says the car is being developed with the aim of exceeding the 700 hp (at the wheels) and 1000 kilogram weight targets set by best Japanese and American time attack cars.
“At the time I started getting more serious with it, the U.K and U.S national champions were both 1999 model WRXs,” said Mr. Creswick, explaining his choice of vehicle.
“That generation WRX’s light weight, handling and capacity potential – you can have anything up to 2.8-litre if you want it – makes it an ideal base for a time attack car.
“And the AWD is a benefit too because, with the power output we’re expecting, I doubt you could do it with a RWD car.”
Limited testing of the Hankook Carbon WRX at Wakefield Park Raceway has seen the car set an easy 1:01.9.
Further development to the engine, transmission, suspension and aerodynamics should see that time improve markedly before the August event.
A brand new billet engine is in development at Bullet Cylinder Heads in Adelaide.
The installation of a Czech-built KAPS fully-sequential transmission – as used by STI’s factory Super GT (Japanese Touring) cars – will provide lightning fast shift speeds and a 20kg weight saving over a traditional H-pattern box. Cusco Japan is supplying limited slip differentials, purpose-built for the car, to be used at WTAC 2011.
Creswick recognises the need to at least match the current Eastern Creek WTAC record of 1:30.587 to be competitive at this year’s event.
“We’re aiming to match the current record in testing,” Mr. Creswick said.
“Aerodynamics will play a really big part in whether we reach the pace of the Japanese cars, as they are many years of development ahead of us. But I’ve got some good people on board, and am now getting technical advice from Cusco Japan in regard to the aero, which holds us in good stead.”
Ian Baker, CEO of Superlap says that it is great to see another Australian effort to take on the might of the Japanese teams.
“It’s sensational to see that we’re getting more Australian cars in the field. It’s great, and an excellent sign for the future of the event,” said Mr. Baker.
“I think it is fantastic that an Australian team is building a car for WTAC, and it’s great that a corporation like Hankook is getting behind it.”
For a full spec sheet of this car click here.